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If You Were Involved in a Philadelphia Auto Accident Here's what you need to know.

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No matter how well you drive, there is always a lingering possibility of getting into an auto accident. With thousands  happening every year, it is not something to be ashamed about and you can be better prepared if you understand how to deal with one properly.

A severe car accident can ruin you financially and severely affect your insurance rates if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure that you have everything in order from the very beginning.

To ensure that you are taking the right steps following a crash, we want to help give you all the information you could ever need if you are caught up in an accident. From the first steps after an accident to how to work with a your accident attorney to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

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Being equipped and knowledgeable now is what could help you out most if you ever find yourself in an accident in the future or are still looking for help with a previous one.

We will start out our guide with a basic rundown of what you need to do after an accident to ensure that everyone is safe and reasonable action can be taken. We will then walk you through some of the ways you can prove various claims to help out your case in court in Philadelphia. Following that discussion, we will go over the general legal process associated with car accidents so that you can be aware and knowledgeable about what you can come to expect in nearly any situation.

First Steps Following an Accident

When an accident happens, everything may seem a little surreal and out of place. To make sure that you are making smart decisions, we have broken down a reasonable order of steps to follow when you get into an accident. While every accident is a little different, we feel that these essential steps will help get things resolve and everyone safe in the most effective way possible.

1. Make sure everyone is ok

Calling for medical assistance after accident

The absolute first thing you need to do when you get into an accident is to make sure that everyone is ok. It is more likely than not that your adrenaline levels will be higher than normal as a result of the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, you will probably already have an idea of how everyone else is doing. Make sure that you yourself are ok and in good shape before trying to go and help anyone else for their and your own safety.

If you just got in a small accident where you just tapped into another car, chances are that everyone is mostly alright and that nobody is seriously injured. It is still a good idea to ask and check everyone just in case there was any head damage that needs to be treated.

If you were in a more serious accident, then you will need to act a little more diligently. If parts of the car are heavily damaged and you got seriously jolted by the crash, chances are so did everyone else. Check yourself for any blood and injuries to make sure that you are able to safely get out of the vehicle. Check the other passengers and occupants of the vehicle to so that you know how urgently you will need medical attention.

One thing many people forget in the heat of the moment is about the other car. If you can safely do so, go and check on the other car after you are done with your own. Depending on who experienced more of the force from the crash, they could be much better off or in a much more sever condition than you are. Regardless of their condition, they will still appreciate the gesture. Once you make sure everyone is ok, its time to call for help.

2. Call 911

Calling 911 after a car crash

No matter the severity of the crash, you will always need to call for help after an accident. Considering how many factors can go into a crash and effect how you react, calling 911 can be used for several different needs. Since 911 is the emergency service hotline for any number of issues, you need to understand why you are calling and what you need from them. If you call them just because you scratched the paint on someone in a traffic jam, then you are taking them away from more serious issues that could require their help.

If you and another car get in an accident and people seem to be injured, you should call 911 as soon as you can for medical attention. A car crash can cause any number of injuries to the body and many of them are not obvious to the untrained eye. When you call 911, tell them that you have been in a car accident at a certain location and require medical attention. This will have them dispatch and ambulance and medica unit to the scene to check on the accident victims.

In many cases, you may also want to call the police to the scene of the accident too. Depending on how serious the accident is and where it happened, the dispatch operator may automatically send the police to the accident scene. The primary reason for this is because they may need to redirect traffic away from the crash so medical help can arrive. If the vehicles only have minor damage and nobody is injured, you can just call 911 to report the accident and tell them no assistance is yet needed. This will keep a record of the accident for you and your insurance.

One situation where calling 911 is essential is if a driver is under the influence. IF someone involved is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the police and medical team will need to be called for various reasons. If someone is intoxicated and causes a crash, the police will need to be involved to administer a field sobriety test and possibly detain the person. The medical team may also need to take them to the hospital if their condition is serious.

3. Check the accident scene and vehicles

take photos and document the car accident scene

Once you have called for help and made sure everyone was alright, you can now check the scene of the accident and the vehicles. It is generally pretty easy to understand how bad the damage will be from the impact itself, but getting a closer look is always advised. When investigating the crash scene, you want to look at both cars and try and determine where the damage is most severe. If the cars are still running and not missing serious components, it would be advised to move the cars away from the road and somewhere safer.

Another thing you will want to do when investigating the crash is to take as many pictures as possible. Many people get so caught up in the moment of a crash that they forget to take pictures of the crash and what the cars look like. When you take pictures of the accident, you have hard evidence of what happened and can easily use the photo evidence when you reach out to your insurance and car accident lawyer for help. Having photos of what both cars look like right after the crash will help determine who was at fault and can help get a more realistic estimate of how much you should be given to repair your car.

4. Exchange contact information

Exchanging contact information after an accident

Once the scene has been assessed and you can understand what shape the cars are in, you will want to exchange information with the other driver. This process can require some time as you want to get as much information about the other driver as possible for a better picture of how you will carry on with the crash and repairs. The first things you will want is their name, address, and phone number. This is the most basic information you will need that will allow you to at least contact the other person if other things are not working.

Once you have the basics, you will want to ask for insurance information, their drivers license number, plate number, and vehicle information. With this information, your insurance and attorney will be able to look up this person and their policies so that you can both understand how to carry on with the crash. If they don’t have insurance or refuse to give their information, take down their license plate and general information so that they can be found later on. It is also advised that you give them your information so they can also figure out what they need to do with their providers.

5. Call your insurance company

Contact your insurance company after an auto accident

Depending on the accident you have had, your insurance coverage may differ greatly and offer you different help. When calling your insurance company, give them as much information as possible so that they can help your case and give you as much money as possible to cover the damages. If you are working with the police to help get an accident report, that will greatly help speed up the process as that detailed report works in your favor for insurance claims.

If you want to be really proactive, understand what your insurance policy covers before getting anything done. Things like replacements cars, tow truck fees, and medical expenses are all things that your insurance may or may not cover. This is extremely important in the case of limited tort policies. Calling a tow truck only to find that it wasn’t covered in your insurance could mean serious fees that you are now paying for out of pocket because you didn’t understand your policy. While waiting for police to arrive and after making sure everyone is ok, call you insurance and see what is covered s you know how to act going forward.

6. Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Calling a Philadelphia lawyer after a car accident

When you are in an accident in Philadelphia, you may or may not be receiving the necessary funds you need to cover the cost of the accident. Things like getting your car fixed, medical bills, and lost wages from injury are all things that insurance are very unlikely to help you out with. This is where a car accident lawyer comes in. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer will do everything in their power to defend your case in court to get you the damages you need to ensure that the crash does no cause serious derailment to your life.

Once you have worked with your insurance provider to understand what they can do for you, an experience auto accident attorney can step in and help cover the rest of the damages. With insurance coverage generally being very limited, it can be very hard to make a decent case with them to get your money’s worth.

A car accident attorney can be of great help when you have taken the following steps to get them the right information to make a valid case for your personal injury claim in hopes of getting you more money back.

7. Take care of post-crash needs

Medical examination after a Philadelphia auto collision.

Now that the crash has been mostly dealt with and everyone is safe, there are some additional steps to take to get everything in order. Depending on the shape of your vehicle, you may want to get it towed or taken away by a professional. Call and ask your insurance to see if they cover that service before making the call. If your car is running, you should try and get it to a mechanic so that they can complete a proper inspection and make sure that the vehicle is in running order.

Making sure that both you and your vehicle are free of any issues following a crash will ensure that you are feeling safe and your car is road worthy. It is also a good idea to reach out to the other person involved in the crash if you have any further insurance or accident related questions that you are looking to have answered. 
How Much is my Claim Worth?

When you get in an accident, a claim will be generated to estimate how much you will likely be paid in recovery fees from the accident. This claim can vary immensely as every accident is slightly different and the damages you are paid can lead to different amount of payment depending on severity of the accident.

When calculating how much your claim is worth, the law will look at various types of inconveniences you can be burdened with and will then give you the amount they fin is reasonable to cover the issues. For example, you can file a claim for things like medical treatments and pain and suffering that will have a court look at what kind of issues you have faced as a result of the accident to determine how much they are going to pay you in claims for the issues.

Having a Philadelphia lawyer to represent your claims in court is your best option when looking to get as much money as possible for the damages you received. When you take the steps we looked at above to ensure you have all the relevant crash information, you have a much better chance of getting more money from your claims if you have the evidence and attorney to back up and defend your claim.

Damage Categories

What are Damages in a Car Accident Case

To understand what damages, you are going to be looking at in court, we will break down the major economic and non-economic damages that are used to determine how much you can expect to be paid.

Before we look at the damages you can expect to see in a claims court, lets look at the damages that your car can have to see how your insurance may treat the vehicle repair process.

A minor accident

is generally categorized as something that is only a small cosmetic issue like a scratch or small dent as a result of an accident. If you make a claim of something like this to your insurance, they will most likely cover it as it is an inexpensive issue and usually can be fixed relatively easily. Be aware that there is a good chance that the price of repair will be added to your deductible unless it was reported as an accident and is covered by the other party.

Moderate

Moderate damage can be thought of as damage that may or may not have caused your cars airbags to deploy or caused a decent amount of physical damage. These cars can generally run, but it is very obvious that they have been in an accident. If someone caused this type of damage to your car, you would definitely want to have it covered with insurance and may potentially look for claims if you were injured. The car can probably still run, but it will likely need some expensive repairs to look good again.

Severe

Severe accidents are generally what most people think of when they hear about a car accident. These crashed can be very ugly and are usually the result of a high-speed impact. Crashed like this usually render both cars broken as major components are damaged and the cars are not fit for road use.

Damages like these can be covered by insurance and are very expensive as one or both of the cars usually needs to be replaced due to the severe damage. Cases like these are where the claims become really important as injuries and fees are likely to be present.

Economic or special damages

Now that we understand what the damages to the cars can look like, lets look at the damages you can receive through claims. The first category of damages is known as economic or special damages. What these damages refer to is loss of value that a person receives as a result of an accident. This is a family broad term used to describe any damages that result in the lost wages or potential earnings from a person due to an accident.

For example, if you are injured in a car accident and are unable to work for a certain amount of time, this would be classified as an economic damage. Things like medical bills and fees are also considered economic damages because they are quantifiable as actual amount of money that you would normally have to spend to receive treatments. Many car accident cases that result in injury of some sort will see economic damages arise if a party is out of work for a given amount of time.

Non-economic or general damages

Where economic damages are based on an actual dollar amount that was lost due to an accident, a non-economic or general damage claim will be the result of damages that have no real dollar amount. Since these damages are hard to actually give a dollar amount to, they can be much harder to process and quantify a claims amount than economic damages.

In the case of car accidents, non-economic damages are unique in that they come up very frequently. As people suffer injuries and pain form an accident, a non-economic damage amount must be created to give damage payment to the affected party. Many states including Pennsylvania put limits on the non-economic damages you can receive from an accident so that people are not abusing the system and taking more money than they are actually owed. Having the best car accident lawyer you can find on your side will help you to defend you case and get you as much in damages as you can reasonably defend.

Proving Damages

With a basic understanding for what damages you will be looking to file for in court, you need to understand the process of proving damages. When you get into an accident, there is a god chance that you will face some personal injury that needs to be dealt with. Instead of leaving you alone to pay for what was out of your control, you can be issued damages that will help pay for any necessary treatment or recovery you need.

Proving damages can have many aspects, so having as much information as possible will only help you to make a better case. For example, taking pictures at the accident scene and having a police or medical report filed will serve as hard evidence that you have faced injury and would have required some treatment. It is not really the goal of claims courts to give you money, so you will need good evidence to prove that you are in need of the damage payment you are seeking.

When attempting to prove damages, it is very important that you are telling the truth and your reasoning is logical. Before going to get your damages heard, consult an attorney who can help you better gather evidence and hard fasts to prove your case. If all you have is word of mouth and no actual evidence, it will be nearly impossible to make a justified case. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer will help you create a case that represents the truth in order to get you the money you are rightfully owed. 
Proving Fault

One of the most important elements in any auto accident case is understanding who was at fault. Fault is essentially the way that police and insurance companies determine who caused the accident. The first way that fault is determined is in cases where there is overwhelming evidence to support a case such as a left turn crash or rear-end accident. Cases like these are generally always going to put fault on one driver unless there is substantial evidence proving otherwise.

As we mentioned above, getting a police report filed at the accident is essential to ensuring that the proper paperwork is filed so that it is clear to understand who was at fault for the accident. Police will interview both parties at a crash to understand what happened and will use that as a base of their understanding to who is at fault. Additionally, they may also inspect the vehicles for any signs of how the accident occurred so they can see what really happened.

Lastly, reports will also use witnesses or cameras to determine who was at fault. If there are witnesses at the scene of the accident, asking for their details and information will help the police make a non-biased judgement on who was at fault. For a very clear-cut fault, a camera could be in place that would offer a very clear view as to who was at fault during the accident.

Proving Negligence - Terms

Negligence is a word that is thrown around quite freely, but what exactly does it entail? When trying to prove negligence, the law has determined that there are four elements that are needed to make a negligence claim. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Let’s look at what each entails.

Duty

Duty in the case of negligence is unique in that it suggests that everyone owes a duty to each other when on the road. For cases like a doctor, they are to provide a duty of care to their patients by acting in their best interests. When operating a vehicle, you essentially owe a duty to everyone else on the road that you will drive responsibly and act in the best interest of others.

Breach

When determining if the person who caused the crash acted in a negligent fashion, the court would see if they breached their duty by acting irrationally. The way courts judge this is by determining what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. Using the standard of a reasonable person means that if an average person was placed in the same situation as the defendant, they would have done the same thing or else they would have acted with negligence.

Causation

Causation is an interesting requirement as it must be shown that the defendant had actually directly caused harm to the plaintiff. Essentially, there has to be a direct correlation between the person who cased the crash doing something that caused harm to the injured party. If someone was doing something illegal that caused the person to crash into the injured party, they would most likely be negligent. However, is something like their tire burst and caused them to swerve into another car, they would probably not be negligent.

What Damages are Due to Me ?

Just like the damages we looked at earlier, a case of negligence needs to have damages that can be owed for someone to be negligent. This means that if you face injury as a result of negligence and can be compensated for it through monetary or other means, it will stand as negligence. Negligent Behavior examples

Now that we know what negligence is, lets better understand what negligent behavior would look like. Knowing the causes that result in a negligent claim, we can see how certain irresponsible driving habits can lead to a clearly negligent crash. One of the easiest cases to justify as negligent is speeding. When you speed in a car, you are not providing a reasonable level of care to other drivers on the road.

Similarly, doing things like disobeying driving laws and driving under the influence are very clear examples of negligence. Negligence is a fairly grey area of the law but driving negligence can be much easier to determine with the right evidence and proof.

Pennsylvania Rules of Modified Contributory Negligence In Pennsylvania, are systems in place to determine a level of negligence appointed to each case based on how both parties acted. In a state using contributory negligence, there is a system that requires the plaintiff to have less than 50% negligence in a case to still get their compensation.

What this means is that cases where negligence exists, the person who was injured must have had less than 50% responsibility in causing the action.

For most auto accidents, this is the case as one person generally holds the majority of the blame. If you are more than 50% responsible, then there is a good chance that you will not receive any financial aid for the accident.

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The Lawsuit Process - Steps

With an understanding for what causes accident judgment to be made and understood, we now take a look inside he court room to see what exactly goes on during lawsuit. To keep things relatively simple and straightforward, we will look at the five major steps to a lawsuit that will show you how a case is made and how the lawsuit s eventually resolved.

Pleading

To understand what each side of the lawsuit has to say. When you get in a car accident, you are going to be considered the plaintiff and the person who crashed into you and caused a level are going to be the defendant.

To start the pleading, the plaintiff much launch a formal complaint to get the lawsuit started. This complaint will describe why there is a lawsuit in the first place and states why the defendant is the cause for harm. This statement is then delivered to the defendant where they are then required to return with an answer as to how they are willing to proceed. The answer given by the

defendant essentially states their defense to the lawsuit and how they are going to react to the allegations. The defendant has a few options when they give an answer as to how they wish to reply to the complaint. If there is a grey area of negligence and responsibility, the defendant can file a counterclaim to the plaintiff if they want to argue against the lawsuit that was put in place.

Discovery

Once both parties have agreed to begin the lawsuit, there is a period of discovery that comes into existence that generally takes the longest amount of time. This is where you are most likely going to need a personal injury lawyer like us to help you gather all of the evidence to prove your point and help you to win the case.

Just as the name suggests, discovery is the time at which all of the evidence is gathered and recorded so that a solid defense can be made. This portion of the lawsuit is where the hard facts and evidence is gathered by both parties. As we mentioned above, car crashes are very important to have documented if you want to make a strong case. It is often the person who has the most evidence and hard proof who will come away with the best results.

The discovery period can have interviews, professional opinions, and witness questioning so that a solid defense can be made for both sides. Once discovery is complete, the lawsuit moves on to asking for motions of the court to clarify or make exceptions for the case. These all must be complete before the trial where the evidence is then presented to the judge and jury.

Going to Trial

When you watch reality Tv and see heated arguments in front of a judge, that is a trial. In reality, a trial looks nothing like that in real life as you shall see. Depending on the type of trial you opt for, your trial could look very different from other variations. You will start your trial with a brief where both the plaintiff and defendant present their general case to the judge before going into a formal trial period.

Each party in a trial will present their opening statement where they assert their main argument and evidence to prove their side. The plaintiff will go first and then the defendant will have a rebuttal. This is where evidence and documents become so important because you can use this hard evidence to prove your case and try and have a favorable verdict.

Once the trial is complete, a verdict will be made based on who made the best and most logical case in the eyes of the law. Assuming a law was broken that caused the car accident, it is very unlikely that the person who committed the crime will win the case. The winning party can now seek fees for damages done to them by the defendant and they can get the amount stated by the judge during the trial.

Appeal

Depending on the outcome of the case, either party can file for an appeal. What an appeal generally suggests is that one of the parties is dissatisfied with the outcome and wants a higher court to review the final verdict. In cases with car accidents and clear negligence, this is generally very rare and does not occur all that often.

The new appeal is sent to an appellate court where it is judged based on the hearing and does not rely on additional evidence. The only real reason a car accident case would eb sent to an appellate course is if there is a disagreement with what the law asked for and one of the parties feels they were misrepresented.

Litigation and alternatives

Litigation is the final step in a court process where legal action is taken and then the dispute is usually resolved. However, there are some alternatives that can arise where a case may go in another direction. The most common way that parties go about taking care of a case outside of court are settlements, mediation, and arbitration.

A settlement is an option when the defendant would rather pay out of pocket for an issue than go through the full lawsuit process. In cases like car accidents, this is very common as a full trial can be very expensive for both parties. Settlements are generally done outside of the court’s supervision, but you can sometimes have a court overlook the process.

Another option is mediation. This is similar to a normal settlement, except now an outside party is brought in to act as a third opinion on the matter. The mediator will work with both parties to develop each of their cases and will then offer advice on how to best resolve the issue. The mediator is an effective way to get another perspective on the case, but they can’t make the final decision.

Unlike the mediator, an arbitrator does have some power. An arbitration is essentially the same as a normal lawsuit just without the legal fees and issues. The arbitrator will observe the cases of both parties and then act like a judge to make a final decision on what should be done. They are not legally bound, but the decision of an arbitration cannot normally be brought to court.

If Negligence is not a factor in your case

In some cases, there is a chance where the issue of negligence is not always clear. AS we briefly mentioned earlier, there are some factors where negligence may not always be the case. Unless an accident was the result of all four factors of negligence being supported, it is unlikely that negligence will be the cause.

Considering how frequent accidents happen on the road, there have to be options in place for when negligence is not at play. Certain incidents like harsh weather conditions and things that are out of a driver’s control are generally not considered negligence. If you have a case where it is clear that negligence is not a major factor, it can be much harder to launch a case against the person who hit your car.

• Defective Products

As mentioned above, there can be seemingly unforeseeable issues that arise and cause someone’s driving to be affected. One such case for an incident like this is a defective product. Whether it is their tire, airbag or their engine, there is very little that someone can do so avoid an accident if their car begins to go out of control.

If you suspect that defective product was to blame for an accident, it is very important that you report the issue and make sure that the product has not been defective in the past and recalled. A defective product on a vehicle that takes the control and responsibility away from the driver is often rather difficult case to take on and your insurance may have to step in to help get you your money.

• 
Bars Serving Alcohol (Dram Shop Law)

When it comes to dangerous driving, almost no accident is more concerning than one caused by a drunk driver. When you are under the influence and cause a car accident, you put yourself and others at serious risk that very often leads to serious injury or death. Because of this, people who drink and drive are given very little leverage in accidents and are generally completely liable and can often face prison.

The Dram shop law came about when a person was heavily intoxicated at a bar and was still being served alcohol. His high consumption was not monitored and he drove home and killed a pedestrian. The Dram Shop law was subsequently put into place and limits bars from serving heavily intoxicated individuals so they cannot cause harm to themselves or others.

Insurance Companies Disputing Liability: No matter what insurance company you have or what your accident was, insurance companies will always try to give out as little money as possible. To do this they can use many claims that try and remove the possibility of you receiving money from them. Let’s look at some of the most popular insurance disputes.

• Negligence

Even if the party who caused the crash was acting negligent, this does not immediately remove the person who was crashed into from blame. As we mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania has a negligence system where you are only allowed to receive compensation if you are less than 50% negligent in the cause of an accident. At the time of the accident negligence may be pretty clear, but your insurance will try and find ways to dispute that.

Your insurance company will want to find any way they can to give you less money, so make sure you are acting fast with every part of the accident process. If you fail ot get your medical information in quickly or do something with your car, they will easily try and make a case for partial negligence to give you less money.

Insufficient Evidence

When you hire our attorneys for your settlement, they will help you gather and look through evidence to make your case. However, they can only use the evidence that exists to help make your case look better. When you get in an accident, it is essential that you record and document everything that happens for later use.

Any pictures, documents, or video will all help ensure that your insurance company cannot use insufficient evidence to work against you. However, they may try to ask for old car or medical records in the process. Companies will generally not irrationally and ask for documents you can’t provide or they are acting in bad faith which we will cover later.

Preexisting Conditions

One issue that arises fairly often with insurance is that they will use any medical condition you previously had as a reason to not compensate future injuries. If you get in a car crash and your leg is injured but you have had past leg issues, your insurance company will try to justify it as a preexisting condition.

The reason that companies do this is because it means they will have to pay you less money. If you are already injured and then get into an accident, they will try and argue that you already had that issue. Getting a medical professional to prove that the injury is new and caused by the accident will be your best defense to get your full moneys worth.

Bad Faith & Insurance Companies

As we briefly touched upon earlier, there can be certain circumstances where your insurance company does not want to pay you what you are owed. Many times, they will fabricate a hard to argue with reason, but sometimes they are acting out of bad faith. When insurance companies act in bad faith, they are showing that they are not meeting the needs of their client and need to be addressed.

An insurance company acting in bad faith is not properly using your money and need to be addressed. If you are injured or in need of some sort of coverage that you believe you are entitled to, then your insurance company needs to be looked into. The best way to go about getting your money is with one of our auto accident attorneys.

What they can do is look into your policy, the accident, and your insurance company to see if the company is acting in bad faith. If they are in fact acting in bad faith, then you could potentially be entitled to a decent amount of compensation if your case wins. Understanding your insurance policy before getting behind the wheel will help you understand and be aware of what exactly it is you are getting covered with your insurance provider.

How Insurance Companies Operate

How Car insurance Companies Operate after an Accident

To understand the basics of insurance, you need to understand how your money is used and how the companies operate to understand why they don’t just give away money. It’s an interesting process as you can see the way that funds are used to help out those who need it most.

• Risk Transfer

When a company takes on a new client, they are essentially helping themselves improve the coverage they can offer to others. When money is added to an insurance company, it becomes part of a large sum of money that is used to help out anyone who uses the company when they have an accident or need insurance coverage.

The reason this is so beneficial is because the more people who join, the better the coverage will be for everyone. The transfer of risk that occurs as a result of everyone putting in money means that there are times when your money is being used to help someone else out. This also works the other way around where other people’s money is used when you are in need of assistance.

When you look at it as a collective sum of money, it makes more sense why insurance companies are hesitant to just give away money for a claim. You would pay a lot more for an accident if you didn’t have insurance because the one-time payment is much more than you would pay normally as the company sees the chance of an accident being very low.

• Premiums

Many people hear the phrase insurance premium, but not everyone knows what they are. Essentially, your insurance premium is the amount you are paying your insurance company for a certain level of desired coverage. The reason the are known as a premium is because you are paying your insurance fees before you actually need them instead of paying one large fee if an accident occurs.

Depending on what kind of coverage you have, your insurance premium could differ greatly. For very basic coverage, you won’t pay very much. However, the more basic your coverage, the less money you will get when you need it most. It may seem to make sense not to pay a high premium if you don’t do risky things, but you never know wat could happen or when you will need coverage.

• How your money works

As mentioned earlier, your money is pooled together with many other peoples to create general pool for everyone under one company. If something comes up and causes you to need medical treatment or other life needs, money from any number of people will come out and be used to help you.

When you pay a higher premium yourself, you are then given access to more money when you need it most. A person who has the same accident as someone else will get a much larger amount of money if they are paying a higher insurance premium. The more you think you will need to use insurance in the future, the higher the premium you should pay. 
If Multiple Insurance Companies are involved
If you get in an accident and it was not your fault, you are most likely going to want to get the insurance of the other driver.

When you do this, there is a chance that their insurance will cover the accident instead of yours. When this happens, their insurance will make out a claim that is either the same as or better than your insurance provider.

When this happens, you choose the one that best suits your needs and accurately covers your losses. Your insurance company should not increase your own premium if you get in an accident, so compare the rates for the best results. One thing that could happen is that the premium paid by the other person who caused the accident will likely increase if you go through their insurance.

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Main Causes of Car Accidents

Rear End Car Accident

• Distracted driving

As more and more people are using smartphones than ever before, it is causing a serious amount of issues for drivers. Distracted driving has quickly become one of the most common forms of accidents in America today and numbers don’t seem to be getting any lower. Because of the new levels of distracted driving, younger people and adults alike are illegally using their phones when driving.

When looking to accidents, it can be easy enough for police to now understand if people are using their phones moments before an accident. Many states have made it illegal to use your phone when driving, but people are constantly breaking the law and putting multiple drivers at risk. To avoid accidents in the future, make sure your phones is put away and on silent anytime you are driving.

• Breaking speed limits

Breaking speed limits is one of the easiest ways to get a ticket and put others at risk when driving. When you break the speed limits, you are essentially sending the message that you would rather risk your life and the lives of others to get somewhere just a little bit faster. Speeding is not only dangerous, but the faster speeds mean that the accidents that occur as a result are going to be much worse.

When on the highway, many people will ignore the speed limits and will just go as fast as they feel. Why this is so dangerous is because when you go faster in a car, your reaction time cannot keep up with the speed of the car. Additionally, going faster also means that you car only has to make a small nudge to go flying and hit something or someone.

• Drunk Driving

Drunk driving has been time and time again one of the most common and devastating causes of accidents in America. Many people get behind the wheel of vehicles while intoxicated and seriously increase the risk of hurting themselves and often others. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs impairs almost every reflex and makes you a serious threat on the road.

The situation gets even worse when you have passengers who are putting their lives in the hands of someone who should not be driving. With so many options for ride sharing and getting a ride home that doesn’t involve you driving a car, there is no excuses to drive or let others drive under the influence.

• Bad Weather

Bad weather is a little different from some of the other accidents, but it still needs to be addressed. While you obviously can’ control the weather or any sudden changes, you can be prepared and adaptable to the road conditions. Checking the forecast and knowing what the weather will be like before you go out will be a great way to prevent going out in really bad weather.
Conditions like ice, hail, fog, and even rain greatly increase the risk of a crash. If you are driving and see conditions that are worsening, it is always ok to pull over and put on your hazard lights until the conditions get better. Being prepared to deal with and have a plan will help you take on whatever mother nature decides to throw at you.

Car Accident Statistics

To help you understand just how serious car accidents are, we can look at just a few of the startling numbers that demonstrate the reality of car accidents and how dangerous they can be.

  • In 2017, over 128,000 car accidents were reported in Pennsylvania alone with over 80,000 injuries
  • Every day, three people die in a car accident in Pennsylvania
  • On average, 17 people were involved in alcohol related crashes every day in 2018
  • Most accidents are caused at night on the weekends

Car Safety and Accident Prevention

car maintenance to prevent accidents

When driving a car, it is often that being prepared for an accident is the best way to prevent them. To be prepared for anything, you want to make sure you and your car are ready for anything. To help with that, lets look at a few tips that will help you prevent accidents and keep your car working smoothly.

• Driving Awareness

The best way to stay safe when driving at any time is to always be aware of your surroundings. While you can’t control other drivers and how they drive, you can control how you react. Keeping your phone away and being aware of other drivers will allow you to be ready to adjust at a moments notice to prevent a potential accident.

Get your car serviced regularly

No matter how good of a driver you are, there is very little you can do when your car has an issue. Whether your brakes are bad, tires under-inflated or you simple have a light that has gone out, keeping your car serviced regularly will prevent any accidents form happening that could have been easily prevented.

Even if things seem fine, taking the time to get your car looked at will give you a better chance at preventing accidents and helps remove some of the blame if your car has an issue. An up to date service record will look much better in an accident appeal than one that hasn’t been updated in years.

• Know the law

While things like speeding and drunk driving are easily understood as illegal, there are many other laws that often go forgotten. For example, you can be pulled over on the spot if you are seen texting and driving. Knowing the laws and general rules of the road will help you better understand how to drive safer and with more effectiveness than if you were to get your license and never look back.

Being an informed driver helps make you a safe driver when on the road. Knowing the ins and outs of Pennsylvania law will keep you from facing fines and tickets when done correctly.

• Carry essential supplies

While this tip may not prevent accidents, it will definitely help you if one occurs. Having something as simple as a basic first-aid kit could literally save your life if you get in an accident. Having some gauze and basic cleaning supplies could keep you from bleeding and hold you over until help arrives.

You can also carry things like water and blankets so that you can be ok if you are forced to pull over during a storm.

Why Hiring a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer is the best idea after a crash.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers

With such a wide variety of situations that can happen as a result from an accident, having someone on your side who knows how to help can make life much easier. Whether you just got in an accident or are looking to resolve some issues with your insurance, our attorneys based in Philadelphia can get you back on your feet.

Hiring a car accident lawyer to help you with your case can be the difference between mountains of paperwork and a case that ends in your favor. Reach out to our car accident lawyers today for a free consultation to see how you can save some serious time and money on your car accident claim. We Win or It’s Free®

You’ve been in an accident and sustained injuries. When is the right time to call a lawyer ? 

As far as the time you should contact legal help after a car accident goes, it should be soon afterward but not before you ensure that you are safe and have seen a medical professional. Regarding whether or not you should get into contact with a lawyer regarding the accident at all, well that gets a bit more complicated.

In a lot of cases, it would be highly appropriate to contact a lawyer as soon as possible but the first thing you have to decide to figure out whether you should be contacting an injury lawyer is whether you plan to pursue a case against whoever is responsible for the accident. If you aren’t concerned with taking care of the damages yourself or you want to settle the problem with the responsible party outside of court then there is no need to get a lawyer involved.

If you definitely want to pursue a case, then you should get in touch with car accident lawyers immediately to discuss the situation in more detail and see if any of them believe you have a solid enough case to pursue. If you want to figure this out before you speak with an accident lawyer, then continue reading below where we will cover the reasons for contacting a legal professional regarding a car accident in more detail.

Were you injured in an Auto Accident ?

The primary reason you should contact an auto accident lawyer is that you were injured in a way that impacted your life by a party other than yourself. If you are not the one that is responsible for causing the accident and you received substantial injuries then you are entitled to compensatory damages at the very least to cover the cost of medical treatment so you can move on with your life without having to be concerned about spending your hard-earned cash to resolve a problem caused by somebody else's mistakes.

There is a stipulation with this situation though, in that you must have been injured enough for it to require medical treatment and incur a cost. If you let the injuries heal on their own, or you choose not to seek medical help, then there won’t be any medical bills and there will be no way to determine how much monetary compensation you are owed by the responsible individual or organization.

If this matches your situation then you should contact a lawyer as soon as you are done having your injuries assessed by a medical professional so you can immediately start going over the details of the expected cost associated with your treatment. You don’t want to wait too long to get either of these things done because, depending on where the event took place, you might not have more than a few days to report the incident and start pursuing your case against the responsible individual.

Do you know who is responsible for the auto accident?

If you are having trouble figuring out who is legally responsible for the accident, then you should immediately contact a lawyer to discuss the situation and consult them on how the law will handle the situation. It could be that you are entitled to monetary compensation and you don’t even know it because you are having difficulty deciding who is responsible.

contact legal help in this situation because if you are confused then it is also likely that the other involved party is confused and they may think that you are responsible even if you are not, in which case you will want to have a legal professional’s help to defend yourself and ensure that you are not wrongfully charged for something that you are not truly at fault for.

Were multiple vehicles and people involved in the car accident?

If multiple parties were involved in the accident then it can be a confusing mess to untangle and a difficult situation to dissect. Especially if you were injured and are having a hard time seeing things clearly through the adrenaline and shock that you are no doubt experiencing when the event takes place.

Contacting an accident lawyer can provide a good way to help you sort out exactly what happened, who is responsible, and who owes who monetary compensation for the damages that occurred. As an added benefit, this is usually done for free by many legal professionals so you won't have to commit to paying unless you have a case worth pursuing.
That means contacting an auto accident attorney to consult about the accident and discuss the details can only benefit you and is definitely worth doing if you have been in an accident. It is a good idea to do this whether you are the responsible party or the victim as no matter which one you are, you should have legal counsel if a legal case is going to be pursued by you or against you.

Where did the car accident take place?

If the accident took place in a protected zone like a school zone or a construction zone then it could have drastic consequences on the case. If the responsible party wasn’t following the proper laws and regulations on driving in a protected zone then there may be large punitive damages paid and this could significantly increase your expected payout from the case.

On the other hand, if you were in a restricted area or not following the law in some other way then you are most likely better off not pursuing a case as it may be you that has to pay punitive damages and they can be rather extreme.

You should always consider where the accident took place and how that would affect who is responsible for causing the accident and how the accident occurred before contacting the lawyer. If you are unsure, you are better off contacting the lawyer first and asking them about the situation as they will be able to clarify whether you have a case or not and how to go about pursuing it if you do.

Are the crash reports accurate?

If you notice that the crash reports do not report exactly what happened with accuracy then it may be worth contacting a lawyer to help you set the record straight and make sure that the situation is handled appropriately. This can be a prudent step to protect you from any possible fallout from the accident as well as to assist you if you are pursuing a case against the responsible party. The crash report or reports will be one of the most important pieces of evidence in any case concerning the accident. If they are inaccurate in any way it could possibly result in punitive damages or compensatory damages being paid out in the wrong amounts or to the wrong people.

This is because the crash reports are going to frame how the event is viewed by any party that wasn’t involved in the accident itself. It is the responsibility of the parties directly involved in the accident to make sure that the information given in the crash reports is as accurate as possible.

You should do your best to ensure that the crash reports are as accurate as possible by giving detailed and accurate information if you want to get the monetary compensation that you deserve and contacting a legal professional is a good way to go about doing this if you notice that the crash reports are inaccurate in any way.

Are you having trouble with the insurance company?

If you are having any kind of concerns about your insurance regarding the accident then you should contact a legal professional for assistance with the issue. This can include not having insurance at all or if your insurance isn’t being clear about how they will respond to the situation.

You should always keep in mind that insurance companies are a business and they are out to make a profit. They do not always have your best interests in mind, which means you should consult with a legal professional any time you have dealings with them and you aren’t completely certain that you are being treated fairly.

If you contact your insurance regarding the accident and they transfer you to their attorney or connect you with them in any way, then you should immediately seek your own legal counsel so that you are not taken advantage of in any way, or denied any services that you are entitled to.

A personal injury lawyer will definitely know how to handle this situation and will do their best to ensure that you get the service and assistance that you are entitled to. It is always good to have a knowledgeable professional at your back when dealing with problems like this because they usually involve large sums of money and can be complicated so having someone that is already knowledgeable about how situations like this should be handled look at the situation can help protect you from any misunderstandings or malicious intentions.

Following the confusion of an auto accident it can be difficult to know what to do first.

Car accidents are scary and bewildering, and the steps you take afterward can impact your life. Some of the steps are obvious, like making sure that anyone who is injured gets prompt medical help. You may not be familiar with -or may not realize- you need to take other steps after an accident.

Steps to Take at the Scene of an Accident

Injuries are common even in minor car accidents. Often, people who are involved in an accident may not realize they are injured because of adrenaline or shock. It is critical that anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a head or neck injury not be moved unless absolutely necessary. Moving someone who has a neck or head injury can cause more damage. Immediately call 911. Try to move your vehicle out of lanes of traffic if you can do so safely. Not only is this a common sense thing to do, it is also your legal responsibility under Pennsylvania’s accident laws.

If you are injured and unable to move your car, but your car can be safely moved, any person with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license may move your car. Failure to move your car after an accident when it can be safely moved can result in a fine of $50. Do not stand in the road. Numerous accidents occur at the scene of an existing accident because of drivers distracted by the scene. Drivers distracted by accident scenes are a leading cause of fatal head-on collisions at the scene of an existing accident. Make sure you and other people involved in an accident are safely out of harm's way before exchanging information.

What Information Must You Share With Other Drivers

Pennsylvania laws on car insurance are unique. Many driver’s carry an insurance policy intended to prevent lawsuits by allowing driver’s to settle claims with their own insurance company, rather than suing the at-fault driver. Some Philadelphia residents believe that because of this law, it is not necessary to give your information to others involved in an accident. Under the laws of the the State, you are required to provide your driver’s license and proof of financial responsibility -your car insurance policy card- to any person involved or injured in an accident. If you are physically unable to provide this information, another individual can give the documents if they are not injured. Most often in serious accidents, the police that respond will provide your information to others involved through a Philadelphia crash report.

When to Report Your Accident to the Police

Philadelphia police will respond to most serious accidents that result in injuries, death, or damage to vehicles that prevents the vehicle from being driven. When officers do respond to a car accident in the city, the Philadelphia Police will file the accident reports You will not need to file a report on your own. In many minor accidents, police may not respond. When the police do not respond to an accident in Philadelphia, it is the responsibility of all involved drivers to file a crash report. Philadelphia law provides only five days after an accident to file a report. You can file a report online or in person at any Philadelphia police station. The form to file a crash report is called Form AA-600. You will need to provide specific information about the accident, including the date and location, vehicles involved, damage to persons or property, and other information as required by law.

Important Things You Need to Know About Filing Crash Reports

Pennsylvania law requires that you file a police report for a reportable car crash. Car crashes that are reportable involve injuries or serious property damage. You have five days to file a crash report. Failure to file a crash report can result in suspension of your driver's license and a $200 fine.   Sometimes, it can be tempting to embellish or alter the facts of an accident on a self-report. Some people think they will have a better chance of winning a lawsuit or getting more money from an insurance company by filing a false crash report. You can be fined $200 and seriously jeopardize any opportunity to recover losses.

How to Get a Police Report in Philadelphia

When you are involved in an accident that police respond to, the agency will file a crash report. Unlike many states, police crash reports are not public records and are only available to individuals involved in an accident, law enforcement and other government agencies, and your legal representatives.

The Philadelphia Police can provide you a copy of your crash report. You can request a copy in person or by mail using the form provided by the department. Any photographs taken by police may also be requested. Fees are charged for these documents, even when you are not at fault for the accident. A copy of your crash report will cost $25, while photographs will run $27. It is important to note that police will only photograph and file a police report for accidents that involve serious damage or injury. Minor accidents, even when police do respond, likely will not be photographed. You should try to take your own photos either way if you can safely do so.

Other Important Steps You Should Take at the Scene of an Accident

In the case of most serious accidents that involve an injury, you likely will not be able to gather all the information you would in a minor collision. In these cases, you will have to rely on the reports and photographs taken by police documenting the scene of an accident for a crash report. If you are not seriously injured, and you can safely take pictures of the scene, you should do so. Always remember to stay out of the way of emergency crews, out of roadways, and be aware of the dangers of an accident scene. Photographing the scene of an accident you were involved in that was not your fault can seriously help your claim of damages later and will reinforce a personal injury lawsuit should you decide to file one. Pictures that will help your attorney:

  • Damages to all vehicles. Clearly show the extent of damage. Take a picture of the license plate.
  • Damage to fixed objects, like walls, guardrails, and trees that could indicate how the accident happened.
  • Photos that show the weather conditions, road surface, and any relevant signs or traffic lights.
  • Take pictures that show how you think the accident happened including skid marks from braking and any other evidence that can help demonstrate what went wrong.

Do I Really Need Witnesses?

Your personal injury lawyer will have a much better chance of getting the compensation you need from an at-fault driver if witnesses to the accident can confirm your story. You should politely ask anyone who witnessed an accident to give a name and contact number to you. You do not need to take detailed notes about what they saw, but jot down enough information that you can let your attorney know why you think it is important to talk to the witness.

Seek Medical Help After an Accident

It is very common for people involved in car accidents to not exhibit any signs of an injury for several hours or even days afterward. There are a few reasons this happens. Adrenaline helps to mask pain when we are injured, but sometimes you may not realize you have a serious injury. Sprains, strains, and broken bones may not cause pain or discomfort right away, or the discomfort may seem minor. Similar to adrenaline, the effects of shock can mask serious injury at the time of an accident. Among the most serious injuries, internal bleeding can happen without causing tremendous pain, particularly while a person is in a state of shock. Internal bleeding can be fatal.

After a car accident, you should make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up. Many minor injuries, such as whiplash, may not seem serious at the time, but can cause long-lasting pain and suffering. Injuries to the neck and spine that are untreated can leave you with a lifetime of crippling pain and prevent you from enjoying your life. Keep in mind that the medical costs to treat whiplash neck injuries range from $2,500 to more than $30,000.

Even a mild whiplash injury can result in a settlement of more than $10,000 due to the long-term consequences and extensive physical therapy required. Most whiplash injuries will never heal back to 100 percent. You will always have some degree of pain after suffering a whiplash injury. Pennsylvania law gives people injured in most car accidents up to two years to file a claim for injuries. Two years seems like a long time after a car accident to claim injury. Waiting until the last minute will only make your case harder to win for your personal injury lawyer.

Entitlements of your Accident Claim

Dealing with the mass of paperwork involved in making an accident claim with insurance companies, or with wondering where your next paycheck is going to come from since you can't work is not an exciting prospect.

However, if you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer, they will be able to assist you with the more complicated aspects of your case. With twenty years of experience, our office is well equipped to help you deal with the insurance companies, hospitals and doctors, and even the courts as we work through your claim.

Medical Treatments

The first thing you need to do if you have been in an accident is to take care of your health. If you have been injured, you need to go to the hospital or the emergency room right away to take care of your injuries. Even if it doesnt feel like you have been hurt, you need to have someone check you out in case you got an injury that doesnt immediately show itself.

Your personal injury lawyer can help you find a healthcare provider if you do not have health insurance, as well as assist you getting to and from the doctor. We are also happy to visit you in your hospital room or at your home if you are too hurt to come to our offices for your free initial consultation.

Property Damages

If you have had any property damage to your vehicle, whether it is a car, a bike, a truck, or another form of transportation, your lawyer will help you through the process of getting the vehicle repaired if it was damaged or replaced if it was totaled. We know how difficult it can be to operate without a vehicle to get around, and we will assist you as you repair your car or find a new one. Also, with the costs of your medical bills already emptying your bank account, paying for your vehicle repair or replacement can be a huge financial burden. Your lawyer will help you get the settlement money you need and deserve from the insurance companies.

Financial Compensation

It is possible that the insurance companies involved in the accident have already contacted you in an attempt to offer you a settlement for your claim. In the vast majority of cases, the insurance companies will offer you a settlement that is much lower than what you deserve for your medical costs and your property damage costs. This is when the assistance of a personal injury lawyer comes in.

Because of our experience handling these kinds of cases, we know when an insurance company is not treating you fairly. We will negotiate with the insurance company about your claim in order to get you the settlement that you deserve for your medical costs, your car repair or replacement, and your pain and suffering.

We will even take the case to court if necessary to ensure that the insurance company will be legally obligated to treat you fairly. Don't hesitate to call our offices if you have been injured in a car accident.

Contact Our Lawyers as Soon as Possible

Timing is everything when it comes to winning a personal injury claim that happens because of a car accident. The sooner you reach out to the injury lawyers at Philly Injury Law for help, the better chance you have of getting a settlement that meets your needs. Our free consultation allows an opportunity for our staff to hear the facts of your claim and provide an idea of the best way to win.

Contact our Lawyers 24/7 for a Free Consultation

Car accidents are scary, to say the least.  Once the situation has been assessed to determine damages and extent of injuries, people often overlook specific details.  

They tend to pass over the idea of retaining the services of an attorney. After all, the accident might not seem like a big deal.  Even the liability appears clear. Of course, if the damage is minimal, and there are no injuries there could be no need for a lawyer. However, it might be wise to consider an attorney in some cases, and there are several reasons why.

Liability

Although the liability in a car accident might be apparent, it might still be a good idea to speak to an attorney.  If you are at fault and do not realize it, you could be surprised by a phone call stating that you are liable for medical expenses, or even, monetary compensation for the other party.  You could also be surprised by a subpoena. None of these prospects are pleasant. Even if you have absolved of all liability, an attorney still could be a great idea, especially if you have injuries from the car accident.  Time should not be wasted because people often forget specific details of the crash. The time to see an attorney is while the events of the crash are still clear to you.

Medical Bills Soon Become Expensive

Everyone knows that one visit to an Emergency Room or Clinic can be costly.  If visits continue to a physician after the initial ER visit, the cost continues to escalate.  Even with medical insurance, the price can still be great, and some medical insurance providers will deny coverage for vehicle accidents.  Most automobile insurance policies have limitations with medical coverage for vehicle accidents. When you have hired an attorney, he can request your medical records and inform your health care providers that he is representing you in a motor vehicle accident case.  This will keep you from receiving stressful collection calls from agencies serving healthcare providers. Once you receive a settlement, the health care providers have the assurance that you will settle your debt with them.

Loss of Wages

If you are losing wages due to being off from work, or, missing work to receive treatment for injuries, you should consider hiring a lawyer.  Loss of salary can have a negative impact on your budget. This can eventually lead to impacting your credit score. Loss of wages can put a burden on your entire family.  Everyone in the household is affected by the financial strain of missing income.  Consulting an attorney can help bring compensation to you for your losses.

Insurance Refuses to Pay

Insurance companies love to play the delay game.  Unfortunately, they can afford it. Often, insurance companies will delay, deny, or minimize a settlement.  They intend to pay as little as possible and make you wait as long as possible. Attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies.  Many are efficient when it comes to convincing insurance companies that your damages and injuries are legitimate.  Lawyers who specialize in motor vehicle accident cases are able to cut through the paperwork and red tape.

Liability is in Dispute

An accident attorney is needed if the insurance company of the other party is claiming that they are not responsible for your injuries and damages.  Often, insurance companies will claim they have no valid proof of liability. An attorney can obtain accident reports and other documents to prove liability. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their policyholders can be less than honest about the events of an accident.  Without an attorney, you could be fighting a serious, losing battle that will be costly. It would be better to seek an attorney then find you do not need his services than to fail to seek one and discover you made the wrong decision.

Contingency Fee Representation

Although medical bills have already been mentioned, it is vital that you are reminded that most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.  This means the law firm bears the burden of expenses until a settlement is obtained. If a settlement is not successful, they collect nothing from you; however, you still are responsible for medical bills. Contingency fee basis is good for you because you are not responsible for any type of payment while litigation is in process.  You will not have to pay any fees, expenses, or medical bills.  It is vital that you keep good records and report any significant events or doctor visits to your attorney. What relief this will bring to a stressful situation!

Expert Opinion Concerning Settlements

Insurance companies will attempt to settle quickly with an amount that is far from what you need to be compensated.  They make the initial offer quickly because they know you want the process over and done. Because you just want to be finished with anything concerning the accident, you might be tempted to settle for an inadequate offer. An experienced attorney will be objective concerning settlement offers.  He will know what you need, not only to cover all expenses but also for pain and suffering you and your family have endured.  You might not be in a state of mind to think objectively. Your attorney will be prepared due to settlement experience.

A Time to Settle and a Time for a Lawsuit

Most people involved in a car accident have no desire to go to court.  They prefer to settle before a trial might take place. Insurance companies know this.  The fact is most insurance companies do not wish to go to court either, but they will manipulate you knowing you want to reach a settlement.  Having an attorney will ensure that proper steps are taken to arrive at an adequate compensation. Once you have settled the case, it is too late to backtrack and receive more compensation.  You need an attorney to guide you as to the dollar amounts for which you should settle. It will be worth the wait in the end.

The Case Must Go to Court

It is not advisable for you to represent yourself in a motor vehicle accident claim although it is perfectly legal.  The attorneys of the opposing party most likely have a great deal of court experience. They know how to speak to judges, and, unfortunately, many of them know how to manipulate the entire court system.  Unless you are an attorney, you have no such knowledge so representing yourself could be detrimental for your case. An experienced attorney will represent you well which will reduce a great deal of stress for you.  Your negotiating system must be strong to come out of the situation in a positive manner. Expert representation from an attorney keeps you from having to pay unnecessary court costs.

You are Truly Liable for the Accident

If the evidence proves that you are responsible for the accident, you need an attorney.  Just as an attorney can represent someone seeking a settlement, an attorney can represent the one giving the agreement.  Your insurance company will do as little as possible to provide adequate compensation to the injured party so you must have an attorney to prevent you from paying for the injuries and damages of others out of your own pocket. Whether you are liable or not, a car accident is a stressful time in your life.  Having proper legal representation can make a difference of paying too much in a settlement or being cheated.  Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you have any doubts about your situation.

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Almost nothing can be as terrifying as seeing another vehicle drive directly toward you in your lane.

Often, such situations result in a head-on collision, in which the front ends of two vehicles collide. Even with standard safety features such as bumpers, crumple zones, seat belts, and airbags, head-on crashes can have devastating effects and can leave victims with life-threatening injuries as the speed of the injury is often multiplied by a factor of two. 

Over the summer in Philadelphia, one head-on accident proved just how dangerous this type of collision can be. According to reports, at about 7:00 a.m., a driver was traveling northbound on I-95 - except he was in a southbound lane. The error resulted in a head-on crash with a southbound vehicle, which resulted in the death of the wrong-way driver, as well as a passenger in the other vehicle. The other driver and passengers received treatment for injuries at a nearby hospital.

The above is only one example of how dangerous head-on crashes can be. It is important to be aware of the common causes of these accidents - not only to avoid them whenever possible, but also so you can be aware of your rights following an accident and injuries. Following a crash, you should always speak with a skilled car accident attorney who can help you identify your options for seeking compensation.

Common Reasons Behind Head-On Crashes

There are many different potential causes of head-on collisions, many of which involve the negligence of other drivers or parties. When someone else acted negligently and you suffered injuries or tragically lost a loved one, the negligent party should be held fully liable for all of your financial and intangible losses.

The following are some examples of negligence that can lead to head-on crashes:

Impaired driving

Drunk or drugged driving is a leading cause of wrong-way driving, which commonly results in a severe crash. Impaired drivers may make a wrong turn and end up driving directly into oncoming traffic. Additionally, a drunk driver may swerve out of their designated lane, and if they swerve to the left side, they may cross over into oncoming lanes.

Distracted driving

While a swerving car can certainly be a sign of a drunk driver, it can also be a sign of a distracted driver. When a driver is looking down at a phone or otherwise away from the road, they lose concentration on staying in their own lane. A distracted driver may drift across a double yellow line themselves, or they may run another car out of their intended lane.

Fatigued driving

Fatigued drivers often lose focus on the road, and they may drift into another lane, possibly into oncoming traffic. Furthermore, when a driver is extremely fatigued, they may fall asleep while they are behind the wheel. At this point, a driver can lose complete control of the car, often unknowingly shifting the wheel to turn the car into other lanes.

Dangerous passing

When you see a double yellow line on a two-lane highway, you should know that means it is too dangerous to pass a car on the left due to limited visibility of oncoming traffic. However, you would be surprised at the number of drivers who risk their lives - and the lives of others - because they cannot wait to pass a car. Illegal passing can often result in a situation in which the two drivers cannot then avoid a head-on collision.

Rural roads

Statistics indicate that head-on collisions are more prevalent on rural roads than on urban roads. Many factors may contribute to the increase of rural head-on crashes, including curvy and hilly roads with limited visibility, speeding drivers (especially on curves), narrow lanes, regular passing of other vehicles, lack of police enforcement, increased drunk driving, lack of street lights, and more. These statistics should not deter from the risks of urban head-on crashes, however, as these deadly accidents regularly happen in the city, as well.

Dangerous road hazards

Sometimes, a driver can lose control and veer into oncoming traffic lanes because they hit a hazard in the roadway. Such hazards can include large cracks or potholes, objects or debris in the roadway, lane markings that are too narrow, and more. Additionally, roads with dangerous designs or speed limits that are too high can also cause a driver to lose control and crash head-on.

Third party or “phantom” drivers

In some situations, the driver who causes a head-on collision will not actually crash their own vehicle. Instead, a driver who is distracted, fatigued, drunk, or otherwise careless may run a car in the left-hand lane off the road, causing them to swerve into oncoming traffic. Sometimes, the negligent driver will realize they caused an accident and will stop. However, in other cases, that driver may not even notice or may keep driving to avoid getting into trouble. These are called “phantom drivers,” and such accidents can require you to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. If another driver caused your crash - even if they kept driving away - you should always seek the medical attention you need as soon as possible, as your injuries can be severe. Your next step should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your rights. You should also contact a dedicated attorney in the tragic event that you lost a loved one in a head-on crash, as we can advise you of your right to file a wrongful death claim under Pennsylvania law.

Discuss a Possible Case with an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney Today

At Philly Injury Law, we have witnessed how devastating car accidents can be, especially head-on collisions. We know that complex legal cases can follow these accidents, and we believe that you and your family do not need any additional stress in this already difficult time. This is why our car accident lawyers handle every step of each case for his clients, providing legal representation they can trust while they focus on their physical recovery. If you sustained injuries in any type of car crash, please call 215-735-4800 for help right away or contact us online to tell us about your situation.

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What are the Different Types of Car Accidents ?

Even if you’re the best driver on Earth, you can still get in a car accident. We share the road with other drivers, and sometimes people are driving recklessly, distracted, or are using drugs or alcohol. All of these factors can affect how your insurance claim pans out.

The exact type of accident can also affect your claim. For example, rear-end collisions are less likely to cause injury than head-on collisions. Depending on your injuries, your claim can also be worth more or less. In addition, the accident type can make police officers assume that one person or another is at fault. This can also affect your claim.

Before you file an insurance claim, it’s important to take all of these factors into account. Here’s a guide to different types of accident, and how they can affect your insurance claim.

Types of Accident

The first thing to consider is the type of accident. How many cars were involved? How were they positioned? How were they moving? Insurance companies consider all of these things when they evaluate your claim.

Single Car Accidents

A single car accident is the simplest type of accident, since only one vehicle is involved. Typically, these accidents are caused due to mechanical failure, fallen debris, or animals on the roadway. The exact nature of the crash will affect your risk of injury. For instance, simply skidding off an icy road at low speeds is generally not going to cause injury.

However, a high-speed rollover accident is one of the most dangerous types of accident. Your insurance will pay for any of your injuries, up to your policy limit. However, damage to your vehicle will only be covered if you have a comprehensive policy.

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision occurs when one car crashes into the car in front of it. Typically, these accidents are caused because of driver distraction. However, they can also be caused by a tailgating driver or by the front driver making a sudden, panicked stop. They can even be caused by ice, oil slicks, or other poor road conditions.

In these types of accident, the rear vehicle is almost always going to be found at fault. Whiplash, Neck and back Injuries are Common in these type of accidents and you should hire the best car accident lawyer you can find.

Side-Impact Collisions

Sice-impact, or T-bone collisions, occur when one car drives into the side of another car. Due to the nature of the accident, they typically happen at intersections or in parking lots. They’re generally caused by distracted or reckless drivers.

At low parking lot speeds, they tend not to be very serious. On the other hand, when the vehicle T-boning the other vehicle is moving at high speeds, they can cause significant damage and injuries. Police will generally assume that the T-boning driver is at fault, but this may not always be the case. For example, they may have had the right of way, and the other driver ran a red light.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of accident, since the vehicles are usually moving at a high rate of speed. They’re almost always caused when someone is driving the wrong way on a roadway. As a result, fault is generally easy to assign.

Different Vehicle Types

In most cases, an accident involves two drivers and their own two insurance companies. That said, there are certain situations where this does not apply. For example, if you’re injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft car, your situation is going to be different. If the accident was caused by the other driver, you’d file a claim against their insurance company.

However, if your rideshare driver was at fault, you would need to file a claim against their insurance company or against the rideshare company’s insurance depending on what state you’re in. In a taxi, on the other hand, you would have to file a claim against your driver’s insurance.

Another scenario is if you’re hit by a driver who’s on the job. In that case, the driver’s individual insurance policy would typically not cover any damages or injuries. Typically, you’d have to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company, instead.
Finally, self-driving vehicles present a whole new mess of legal issues. This is a new area of law, and there’s not enough case law or regulation to say for sure how you would proceed with a claim. You might be able to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company, or you might have to sue the self-driving vehicle’s manufacturer.

Different Types of Driver

It’s well known in the insurance industry that teenage drivers are the most likely to be in a car accident. That’s why teen drivers have to pay the highest insurance rates. Teen drivers tend to be overconfident, so they may take unnecessary risks that put themselves and others at risk. They also lack experience, so they may not handle poor conditions as well as older drivers. Finally, teen drivers are the most likely to be using a cell phone instead of paying attention to the road.

On the other end of the spectrum, elderly drivers can also cause accidents, despite years of experience. It might make you feel bad filing a claim against somebody’s grandparent. Remember, you’re not going after the elderly person themselves. Their insurance company will be the ones paying the claim.

Reckless drivers and drunk drivers can also complicate insurance claims. Provided you weren’t the one driving under the influence, this is actually good news. In most states, a person driving under the influence is automatically considered to be at fault in an automobile accident.

One unique complication is if you’re the victim of a hit and run driver. If you can’t identify the other driver, you’ll end up having to file a claim against your own insurance company in order to cover your losses. Another complication can arise when the other driver is uninsured, or when their insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your injuries. In that case, you’ll need to file a claim with your own insurance company to cover the balance. Keep in mind that in this case, you’ll typically only be covered if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. If you don’t, you might be stuck holding the bag.

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You may be wondering why you should get in touch with a car accident attorney.

Calling for medical assistance after accident

There are several reasons why it is in your best interest to do so, and if you are unsure about what to do, you should still call and talk to an attorney.

We provide free consultations so that we can determine what the right option is for you.

Philadelphia is a large and busy city, with many different roadways running through it carrying thousands of travelers every day. As the second largest city based on population along the East Coast, Philadelphia is full of people commuting to and from work, going shopping, visiting friends, sightseeing, and traveling in and out of the city.

This means that there are hundreds, even thousands, of cars on the roads at all hours of the day. Unfortunately, this means that the chances of getting into a car accident in the Philadelphia area are statistically very high, as is the case in most large metropolitan areas.

Philadelphia has many different large roadways that travel through it and around it, including the heavily populated I-95 and I-76 as well as a busy downtown area. I-95 runs all the way up and down the east coast, meaning that it experiences traffic twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The traffic consists of everything from truckers making their trips to tourists seeing the sights along the coast to people trying to attend sporting events for the Eagles, the Phillies, and the 76ers, and drivers can often get stuck in slow moving traffic or trying to dodge cars that are flying down the interstate. I-76 (also known as the Schuylkill Expressway) can be just as busy as I-95. It runs north and south and can get clogged with traffic.

Furthermore, the busy downtown streets are full of cars, trucks, bikes, and buses as well as pedestrians trying to get around the city. This can be a recipe for traffic accidents which unfortunately can happen more often than we would like -- in fact, most drivers are involved in some kind of accident at some point during their lives.

Because of the heavy traffic along Philadelphia roadways, it is not always the safest place to drive, as is the case in many large cities. Between the people who are lost in the big city and the impatient drivers on their daily commutes, people often make mistakes behind the wheel on Philadelphia roads. This can lead to dangerous and severe car accidents that can leave people injured and cars damaged.

If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, you need to call a Philadelphia car accident lawyer right away.

Below are some of the most important reasons to speak to a car accident attorney

You may know exactly who caused the accident in the first place, but after some time, the details can get fuzzy. Furthermore, as soon as the person who did cause the accident realizes that they will have to be held responsible for the accident and face the consequences such as traffic violations or higher insurance rates, they often tell a very different story about what happened. You cannot count on the other driver to be honest and admit their guilt.

Your car accident attorney will fight for you if the other driver does not tell the truth about the accident, especially if they change the story and you get blamed for the accident.

Hopefully, your insurance company will be helpful and friendly throughout the claims process and will not keep you waiting long. But unfortunately, insurance companies are still companies that seek to make a profit. This means that they will not always treat you fairly when it comes time for the adjuster to settle your claim, often offering you much less than you deserve to receive.

Although the amount may seem generous to you, in reality it is probably not enough to cover all of your costs, especially medical bills and car repair or replacement bills which can pile up. An experienced lawyer will know how much you should receive in compensation depending on your case and will work to make sure that you get it.

In some cases, your injuries may seem relatively minor at first -- just a headache or a few cuts and bruises. But any accident that puts your head, neck, or spine in danger means that you could have injuries that could show up later or could turn out to be much worse.

Your headache could mean a concussion, your cuts could be infected, and you could even be suffering from internal organ issues that you are not initially aware of or equipped to plan for. This means that you need to be prepared, both mentally and financially, for a prolonged recovery process and a period of time where you probably cannot work.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will know based on your symptoms and diagnosis what kind of outcome you can expect and how much you need from the insurance company to cover the costs. You may be aware that you can receive compensation for your medical bills and for your car repair or replacement, but you may not know that you can also receive compensation for your pain and suffering caused by the accident.

The aftermath of a car accident usually will end up costing you more than simply your medical bills and car expenses, and your lawyer will carefully evaluate what you deserve to cover the costs associated with your pain and the struggles it caused after the accident.

If you are worried about the cost of working with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers, dont be -- car accident lawyers often charge on something called a contingency basis, which means you dont owe us a dime until we secure your full settlement with the insurance company.

We recognize that this is a stressful time financially for you and want to help you as much as possible without putting an additional strain on your finances. Before meeting with your lawyer for your free initial consultation, try to have any relevant documentation available that could help us with your case.

This can include any pictures from the scene of the accident, medical bills and records, any correspondence you have had with the other driver or with their insurance company as well as with your insurance company, and a list of any witnesses that your lawyer can contact on your behalf. By doing this, and by calling us as soon as you are physically capable, we can provide you with the best legal assistance possible to help you get past this accident.

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When you are injured in a car crash, it is disorienting and confusing.  

The gas-powered engine gave us the freedom to travel and a method to transport goods to such an extent that this one invention reshaped our modern society.  However, there is a dark side. With vehicles ranging from commercial trucks to compact cars navigating thousands of miles of road, various forms of car crashes will happen and injuries are inevitable.  

You need medical attention and your injuries may limit what you are now able to do.  It is a stressful time and on top of everything, the medical bills put a strain on your finances.  If you were injured by the negligence of others, it makes sense to file a claim to seek compensation for your medical bills and losses suffered as a result of the car crash. It is a complicated procedure to file and defend a claim, and when you are injured in a car wreck, it is wise to seek help.  

The best car accident lawyers know how to assemble, present, and defend a claim and maximize your chance for a fair settlement.  Philly Injury Law offer a free, no obligation initial consultation to review your case. We can scrutinize the details and assess whether or not you have a strong case.  You have nothing to lose to talk with us, but maybe you have something gain.

Factors that Influence the Type and Severity of Injuries in a Car Crash

Every car accident and the ensuing injuries are unique because the factors at play during a crash are diverse and numerous.  This is a complex topic and there are detailed studies on the variables that affect the severity of two car crashes.  But in summary, some of the variables at play include questions like:

  • Were the occupants wearing seat belts?
  • Did the car get hit from the rear, side or front?
  • Were the occupants facing forward or was their head or body turned to the side or back of the car?
  • Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
  • Did the car have airbags?
  • What was the weather?
  • How old were the occupants?
  • What type of vehicles were involved?
  • Where did the cars collide?  (e.g. in an intersection, on a highway, on a dirt road, etc.)
  • Were fixed objects involved? (e.g. light poles, road signs, guardrails, etc.)

And one UK study found that the important variables are determined by whether you are driving in a non-urban or urban area.  In short, the number of variables dictating if, how, and the degree you are injured are so diverse and numerous that just about any type of injury could result from a car accident. So, the variables are almost limitless and the dynamics of what happens to passengers is being studied every day to better protect car occupants.  But the list of injuries commonly suffered during a car crash remains extensive as demonstrated in car crashes every day. Based on the wounds treated in hospitals over decades of time, there are injuries that can be labeled as common to car crashes.

A Variety of Injuries Can Result During a Car Accident

The automobile was invented in 1885 and the first recorded car accident occurred in 1891, and not surprisingly both men in the car were injured in the wreck.  Car crashes have been with us for a long time and experience has shown us that a number of injuries are possible when a car is crashed. Some of the possible injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Head and Neck Injuries
  • Brain Injuries
  • Back and Spine Injuries
  • Burns
  • Chest Injuries
  • Arm and Leg Injuries
  • Internal Injuries
  • Disfiguring Facial Injuries and Scars
  • Eye injuries
  • Limb Loss and Amputation
  • Knee, foot and ankle injuries
  • Shoulder and Wrist injuries
  • Wrist Injuries
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Crush Injuries

This is a long list, but remember there are still a number of other possible injuries that one can suffer during a car crash that are not on this list.  

If you are unfortunately injured in a car crash, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer and review your case.  Philly Injury Law offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation. You have nothing to risk by talking to them, but if they take our case, you gain a valuable partner and improve your chances of a successful claim.  They are veteran accident lawyers who bring years of experience and knowledge to help you navigate the convoluted legal process and defend your rights.

Five Common Car Accident Injuries

Many analyses of car crash injuries break the long list into two broad categories: impact and penetrating injuries.   Impact injuries are those broken bones, crushed ribs, or the concussion suffered when your body parts crash into the steering wheel, windshield, headrest, dash, door, foot pedals, or any other hard surface inside the car.  Bruises, broken bones, and concussions are examples of injuries that can result from impact. Penetration is when glass, or other loose objects inside the car cut, lacerate, or scrape the skin.  These types of injury range from minor cuts and scrapes to the deeper lacerations that require stiches, staples, or skin glue. But if you look at the actual car crash injuries that appear commonly in emergency rooms, you will find the five most common injuries often associated with a car accident are:

  • Soft tissue sprains, strains, and tears,
  • Scrapes and cuts,
  • Head trauma and injuries,
  • Chest injuries, and
  • Arm and leg injuries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The National Cancer Institute defines soft tissue as “muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissue of the body.” So, soft tissue injuries are the sprains and strains of the ligaments, tendons, and fibrous tissues, or certain muscles or nerves that support the body.  One of the most common soft tissue injuries associated with car wrecks is whiplash, caused by violent whipping of the neck muscles and tendons that are strained, sprained or torn.  But whiplash is a vague, outdated term and the soft tissue injuries to the neck are now often referred to as cervical strains/sprains or hyperextension. Soft tissue injuries are also responsible for a number of back problems.  The amount of soft tissue in the back is significant and twisting, pulling, jerking, or tearing of the soft tissue in the back is also common in car accidents. Symptoms of soft tissue injury include:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Sharp neck pain
  • Back pain or difficulty bending/moving
  • Cognitive issues, such as problems with memory and concentration, or blurry vision

With the excitement just after a car accident, and the adrenaline or shock your body may be experiencing, soft tissue injuries are not always noticeable after a car crash.  The damage and pain may not become obvious until hours or days after the wreck. So, if you are offered medical attention at the crash scene, take it. You may be hurt worse than you think. Another problem with diagnosing, and documenting, soft tissue injuries is that they do not show in X-rays or other medical imaging tests.  However, it is important to make sure you see your doctor to get the proper medical care.  Soft tissue injuries can cause substantial pain and discomfort. Soreness, swelling, bruising, and stiffness can be expected and you will require medical treatment. But it is also important to document the injuries in case you need to file a claim.  Part of filing a claim involves proving your damages and losses. You saying your neck hurts will not be enough.  You need to be able to show what injuries occurred, and where, as well as how severe they were. Unlike a broken bone which can be photographed via an X-ray, soft tissue cannot be documented in a similar black-and-white manner.  Without a medical professional confirming your injuries, it becomes more difficult to “prove” your injuries resulted from the car accident, and how severely they impacted your life.

Scrapes and Cuts

When there is a car crash, loose objects inside the car can become projectiles rocketing through the car’s interior. This may include things like cell phones, eyeglasses, purses, dash-mounted GPS systems or dashcams, etc.  If any of these loose items crash into you, they can easily cut and bruise your skin, or cause injury to eyes, brain trauma, or broken bones. Broken glass may also fly around in the car cabin and any broken glass is an obvious danger.  Modern cars use tempered or safety glass to reduce this risk, but cuts from glass are still common in a car crash and glass can cause deep lacerations, surface cuts, and scrapes.  

Cuts or scrapes can also result when an accident sets off your airbag.  The action of the bag deploying and your landing into it is a rapid, harsh event.  And when an occupant crunches into the airbag, they are not landing in a fluffy pillow.  An airbag deploys rapidly, and “in about 1/20th of a second at an average of 144 mph and as fast as 210 mph. Airbags installed prior to March 1997 likely use up to 1200 lb of pressure, while second-generation or lower-powered airbags generate 25% to 30% less.”  Abrasions are common when an occupant impacts an airbag. In addition, the inflation device releases heat and burns are sometimes seen when the airbag is activated.  

Some scrapes and cuts can be relatively minor and require no medical treatment.  But more serious injuries can result in loss of blood and may require stitches. It is also important to treat and bandage cuts or lacerations to prevent infection. You may get treatment for cuts and scrapes at the accident site or in an emergency room, but it is not uncommon to see future visits to your doctor’s office.  For example, you may need to have stitches removed. And your cuts or lacerations can become infected and may need attention.

Cuts and scrapes can be a major disruption to your life.  When bandages are needed for lacerations or other serious cuts, the impairment from the bulky gauze or tape may make it hard to work.  Plus, you need to keep the bandages clean by frequent changing of the dressings. Cuts and scrapes are often depicted as minor and worth worrying about.  But as with any injury suffered in a car accident caused by the carelessness of others, you need to document your cut and scrape injuries, preferably with your doctor.  

You will also need to record all the medical expense and all the related expenditures. A serious laceration or cut can note also impact to your usual quality of life, for which you may be able to receive compensation.  If you need to miss work because of your injuries, you may be able to collect those losses through a claim. Record your expenses and losses diligently and organize your paperwork, you will need it if you file a claim for your scrapes, cuts, or lacerations.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can range from relatively minor to severe.  As already noted, the heads of the car occupants can experience sudden and unnatural movements causing muscle strains in the neck and back. But an impact with a window or dashboard can cause scrapes and bruises on the head or even deep lacerations.  Severe head movements or impacts can cause a closed head injury where the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged.  

Minor closed head injuries often result in concussions, while severe cases can result in brain damage.  And in some cases, the skull will be penetrated or fractured. Other head injuries can involve damage to the eyes.  Minor injuries might be a simple black eye or minor cuts to the eyelid or eyebrow.  But the eyes are sensitive and they can be more seriously damaged with things like:

  • Damage to the surface of your eye (“corneal abrasions”), which are painful, and may affect your vision.
  • Lacerations, even on your eyelid, can cause serious damage to your eye.
  • A fracture to the bone around your eye (orbital fractures).
  • Retina detachment.
  • Loss of vision.

Our eyes are important and if you think you have any sort of damage to your eyes, see the appropriate doctor immediately.  For that matter, with any head injury, make sure you get the needed medical attention from the proper doctor. With the head housing our eyes, brain, teeth, etc. you may need to see a dentist, eye doctor, brain specialist, etc. to get the suitable care.  

Head injuries, such as brain trauma, can be serious and the medical bills can become large.  Plus, many victims need future care for the rest of their life. You have a right to collect for these damages if the injuries were caused the neglect of others, but it can be hard to collect.  The personal injury lawyers know how to present and defend large serious claims and you should consider retaining their service.

Chest Injuries

The steering wheel is a major source of chest injuries for drivers.  In the sudden stop of a car crash, the body is thrown forward and if the seat belt or airbag does not stop you in time, you so not have far to go before you collide into the steering wheel with your chest.  The resulting injuries may be minor in the form of contusions or bruises, but can also be more serious resulting in broken ribs or internal injuries. The second situation that commonly causes chest injuries is when the passenger impacts the dash.  The dash is further from them and they must travel forward further to impact the dash than the driver does to impact the steering wheel.  Also, the airbag is often larger on the passenger side, but not necessarily more effective. This means that the passenger and driver have different experiences in a car crash that deploys the airbags.  

And they may see very different degrees and types of chest injuries. The third frequent source of chest injuries is the seat belt.  When you are in an accident, the force against the seat belt can be large.  If you have the shoulder harness too high, it can cause abrasions to the neck.  In hard impacts, the belt may cause bruises or broken ribs or collar bones. In some accidents, the seat belt can even crack the sternum.  

Chest injuries are concerning since they may also impact the heart and lungs. (It is common for passengers with lap belts to also receive spinal fractures.)  So, while saving many lives, the restraint offered by the seatbelt can injure you in a violent wreck. With all chest injuries, get medical attention immediately.  Complications can result if chest injuries are not treated properly and you may not realize the seriousness of your chest injury until a few days after the accident.  Also, like any injury incurred from a car accident, you should organize and record all your medical bills and expenditures related to the chest injuries.

Arm and Leg Injuries

The same forces that jerk and throw a person’s head about in a car crash will also act on arms and legs. For example, if your car is involved in a side impact, your arms and legs might be slammed into the door.  A car occupant’s legs have little room for movement and it is common for knees to hit the dashboard or seats in front of them.  In head-on collisions, leg injuries are common as the legs are forced up or lurch towards the chest, colliding with the steering wheel or dash causing bruises, cuts, and scrapes.  Broken bones can also result.

Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be meager bruises or scrapes, but sprains and even broken bones can result.  The driver’s wrist and elbows can experience large forces and as the steering wheel lurches, causing things like soft tissue sprains or strain or broken bones.  And passenger arms can be injured on dashboards or the seat in front of them. Keep in mind that some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident.

Depending on the nature of the arm or leg injury, it may take a while for symptoms to appear. So, if you are in a car crash caused by the neglect of others, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury. And with all injuries suffered in a car wreck, keep meticulous records.  All the receipts and information that can document your direct expenses and losses caused by the accident will be required if you decide to file a claim.

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